Urban Transport

Solowheel: self-balancing last mile transport for the upstanding commuter

Solowheel: self-balancing last...
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist has a top speed of 12mph, a range of 12 miles on one charge and to move off, a user puts both feet on the platforms on either side of the wheel housing and leans forward
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist has a top speed of 12mph, a range of 12 miles on one charge and to move off, a user puts both feet on the platforms on either side of the wheel housing and leans forward
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist - short haul mobility solution
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist - short haul mobility solution
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist - getting to work through the city doesn't have to be a dreary strain
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist - getting to work through the city doesn't have to be a dreary strain
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist - going downhill returns energy to the battery
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist - going downhill returns energy to the battery
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist has a top speed of 12mph, a range of 12 miles on one charge and to move off, a user puts both feet on the platforms on either side of the wheel housing and leans forward
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist has a top speed of 12mph, a range of 12 miles on one charge and to move off, a user puts both feet on the platforms on either side of the wheel housing and leans forward
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist - with foldaway foot platforms and carry handle
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist - with foldaway foot platforms and carry handle
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
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The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist

The fat wheeled eniCycle, the stylish and graceful U3 from Honda or the slightly scary prospect of the UnoMoto have all shared more in common than being one-wheeled, self-balancing personal transport solutions. They've all had somewhere for the user to sit. Inventist's Solowheel is a little different – you ride this electric unicycle standing upright, like a Segway or skateboard. It has a useful carry handle and fold-away foot platforms, is gyro-stabilized and the Li-ion batteries offer a range of about 12 miles between charges.

For those who work in the city but don't actually live there, leaving the car at home and getting to the office by train, tram or bus is becoming a more attractive prospect. For those who don't relish the sometimes long walk from the station or terminus to the workplace, there are now numerous electric personal, short haul transport solutions – from the Segway to the YikeBike or even the FlyRad – to take some of the strain away.

The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist - with foldaway foot platforms and carry handle
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist - with foldaway foot platforms and carry handle

Weighing 25 pounds (11 kg), sporting folding leg platforms on each side and a carry handle on top, the 17 x 19 x 5-inch (43 x 48 x 13 cm) Solowheel from Inventist is sure to turn some heads as you trundle along at up to 12mph. The durable external housing hides a Li-ion battery that's said to be good for two hours of use between charges and a 1000-Watt electric motor, and a self-balancing gyro system. Its battery is reported to take 45 minutes to charge but a regenerative system returns energy to the battery when the rider slows down or the unit goes downhill, which could help extend the range.

The electric unicycle's creators say that it's easy to use and quick to learn, the feet are quite close to the ground and the legs rest against each side of the housing which help with balance and steering. With both feet on the vehicle, you just lean forward to start going. When you want to slow down or stop, you lean back. You use the legs to steer, much as you would on the Magic Wheel.

The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist
The Solowheel electric unicycle from Inventist

Jinalyn Liljedahl from Inventist told Gizmag that he expects the Solowheel to be available from April at a cost of US$1495. Each unit will be shipped with an instructional DVD and charger.

I can see the Solowheel being a useful, fun and quite affordable way to trundle from the railway station into work and back again. Have a look at the following demonstration video and see what you think:

Solowheel

25 comments
Fouture
Cool ! A unicycle without saddle and without pedals... Wonder what Kris Holm would make of this ;-)
Wayne Taylor
If this was $300 it would be over-priced.
waltinseattle
Preposterous price and anyway I would not be found dead on it! Probably illegal on your town\'s sidewalks as well as mine..but at 1000watts, here it would be a motorcycle not a .....whatever...there is this little federal law.....
doanviettrung
Great product idea! I can\'t wait to get my hands (and feet) on it.
Conny Söre
Reality, once again, finally has caught up with fiction.Not Sience Fiction as you might believe but stoneage fiction ( http://comics.com/bc/ ). :-)
Mark Fitzgibbon
errr...whats wrong with walking???
Justin Murray
Brilliant engineering but these guys should invest in some Industrial Designers if they want to sell this product.
Moshe Feder
I have to agree about the pricing and the questionable logic of carrying a 25 pound device to avoid walking. If it were a tenth the price, it\'d be a fun toy, I\'m sure, but does it make sense for its intended purpose? If these were to become popular, how would you integrate the many people riding them with either pedestrian or motor traffic?
Steve Whetstone
logic makes sense. 12mph is 3 times average walking speed or equal to average bicycle speed. and 12 mile range is more than enough to cover most distances from mass transit to house or work. Walking 3 miles to work is going to take an hour and you\'ll be hot and sweaty when you get in. This will get you there in 15 minutes and leave you looking fresh. 25lbs is fairly heavy, but it\'s lighter than most electric bikes and reasonable for most people to carry the average 50ft-500ft from office to curb or bring on a bus or train.
William H Lanteigne
At $149.99 it would sell like hotcakes.